Friday 28 April 2017

What's Propaganda Got To Do With It? | Turn LEFT and Make June the End of May

Over the last few days the misrepresentations of and attacks on Jeremy Corbyn have escalated. Whilst Labour continue, day-on-day to publicise and attempt to widely promote new policies on health, housing, Brexit, pensions, education and so on all we hear from the Conservatives (aside from juvenile insults and made up smears) is how 'strong and stable' they are. Their claims are twofold in terms of a 'strong and stable leadership' and 'a proud record' as opposed to 'a coalition of chaos with
Jeremy Corbyn'. There is no talk of how the Tories might tackle poverty, homelessness, the health and social care crisis and so on and in their attempt to distract us from election fraud, their dubious allies (at home and abroad), the poor state of the economy, rising child hunger and the rest they continue with their their two pronged campaign of a) smearing the Leader of the Opposition and b) the cracked record like messages. In this they are largely supported by the mainstream media (MSM). No need to take my word for it; check out these two recent articles by Steve Topple:

The Tories have been caught using fake news to smear Corbyn

We need to talk about the mainstream media and the Election. Because a disaster is looming

In the few 'closed' speeches she has given in the last week (in contrast to the very public presence of Corbyn, other members of the shadow cabinet and politicians from other parties), and in the final Prime Ministers Questions before the General Election, Theresa May repeated her key phrases, most especially 'strong and stable leadership', and popped in other references to 'strong' and 'stable' innumerable times. To save you having to look I can also confirm that there are short clips of her repeating this mantra on her twitter feed also. There is a precedent for this type of campaign as the constant repetition of  'strong leadership', a 'clear economic plan' and 'a brighter, more secure future' helped the Conservatives to gain power in 2015. Well that worked out well, didn't it.

We have to hope this time that the simultaneously teeth grindingly annoying and comical repetition of 'strong and stable', (rather than, as many have noted, the more accurate 'weak and wobbly') by Theresa May, and anyone near her, has less of an hypnotic effect on the many. Anyone who parrots it needs to be reminded of this; a 'proud record' indeed.

I have written before of my gratitude to the alternative news sources (and to various bloggers and vloggers) for the challenge to and corrections of the MSM. If like me you lament the election coverage on the BBC and many other outlets and in much of the newsstand coverage have a look at The Canary, The Morning Star, The Word, The Prole Star (all available online) or written and video posts by people such as Peter Stefanovic, Harry Leslie Smith, Lindsey German, Rachael Swindon (and others) and look at some of my previous posts here.

Yesterday I was cheered also by a tweet from @MirrorPolitics. By way of introducing an article focusing on the foolish posturing of Boris Johnson MP (there's no need for me to go into detail given the MSMs preoccupation with this non-story but read the article if you want to here they wrote: 

      Labour leader vows not to use Tory's 'personal' tactics (and gets on with campaigning about               housing instead). 

As a further example of the current MSM spin on the messages from and behaviour of Jeremy Corbyn the BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg @bbcclaurak tweeted: Corbyn says 'I don't do personal attacks' but says disappointing the tories are doing negative campaigning. As at least one person has pointed out why BUT and not AND here. . .

Recent political events (in the USA as well as closer to home), and the media coverage of them, have led some to reflect on the significance of George Orwell's work. I see the point. Returning to Animal Farm (1945) recently myself I was struck, as others have been, by the rewriting of the agreed seven commandments of Animalism, by the ruling elite (the pigs). The seventh commandment which begins All animals are equal and becomes All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others is relevant not least in that: All British people are equal but some are more equal than others (and just as in Animal Farm it is the many rather than the few that are other/less equal. And it is the 1%/more equal whose privilege can even protect them from both the laws of the land and the demands of the tax office that the rest of us are subject to).

And then there's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Any cursory dip into mainstream or social media gives us much fuel for comparison between our most powerful media and the propaganda machine at the heart of the novel: the infamous 'Ministry of Truth'. Additionally, we know that Big Brother is not only watching but silencing us as the new surveillance law, or as it has been termed 'The Snoopers Charter', requires web and phone companies to store everyone's browsing histories for 12 months and gives the police, security services and official agencies unprecedented access to the data. There are implications here for all of us, not least in terms of the investigative journalism that we have left.

I wonder what's in your Room 101?  As a researcher of both patient and healthcare professional experience; as a daughter and wife of individuals who suffered cancer and heart disease; as a friend of people who care for young children and others who care for elderly parents; as a mid-life woman who already accesses screening services (and will likely access more in the future) and who has a health condition that will need monitoring and treatment for as long as I live the death of the NHS is high up on my list. Take a look at this Alan B'stard YouTube clip which is doing the rounds at the moment: Sadly and frighteningly if it wasn't for the laughter it would be easy to think this wasn't a comedy sketch.

Staying with Orwell for a moment, anyone reading Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) or The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) and comparing the injustices and inequalities so evidence today to those described by Orwell in the 1930's must surely ask themselves, as Orwell did 'Why are we not all socialists?' 

So as I said I see the point of these references but I'd like to suggest there were warnings in other iconic books. Just a brief review of a couple from my own childhood and youth.

John Wyndham's 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos tells the story of an alien invasion of children born on the same day across the world; children who protect themselves as much as possible using a form of mind control. When the people in the village that is the focus of the book begin to understand what is going on they attempt to resist but to no avail as 'the Children' make the villagers attack each other. Sound familiar?

Ira Levin's novel The Stepford Wives, published in 1972 focuses on the town of Stepford where 'Diz' (a previous Disney employee) is the ominous leader of
the Stepford Men's Association and the power behind the Stepford phenomenon of the gynodisation of the women of the town. The popularity of The Stepford Wives is reflected not least in the classification of Stepford as an adjective: 
‘Relating to a person who has an unthinking. conformist, and uncritical attitude.' Take note everyone.


SO: What's propaganda got to do with it? 
Answer: A LOT. 

It is, I believe, the responsibility of all of us to keep challenging the dominant messages we are hearing and seeing and to keep offering the alternative. With this in mind  I watched a vlog by Giles Fraser this morning:

       'Maybe that;s why I am a fan of Jeremy Corbyn' says @giles_fraser '...he seems like an 
        ordinary bloke, concerned with ordinary people'. #bbctw 

Please go to his twitter page and watch it too. Have a look as well at  #publicduty, the hashtag being used by individuals across health, education and beyond, warning us all of the consequences of five more years of the Conservatives:

Turn LEFT and Make June the End of May. 

NB: with my friend and colleague Deborah Davidson I have previously used the Stepford analogy to reflect on the increasing corporatism of higher education: Davidson, Deborah and Letherby, Gayle ‘Heroes of Higher Education?: Stepford Wives, Non/Mothers and Academics’ Auto/Biography Study Group Conference, BSA, Reading University (July 2012) 

Saturday 15 April 2017

Dear Michael Rosen | On Reading Michael Rosen's SAD BOOK

Dear Michael Rosen

I have just bought and read (several times) your SAD BOOK. 

Everyone’s sad story is different.
There are times when I feel as if my whole adult life has been full of sad.
My dad died when I was just 20 years old,
My one and only (to my knowledge) pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 16 weeks and more than 30 years later I still mourn the baby that died and the others that were never even conceived.
After several years of being very unwell my husband died seven years ago,
and two years later my wonderful mum, who helped me through all of this (and more) died too.

Like you I sometimes talk about feeling sad.
Like you I don’t always want to speak about sad.
Like you I write about being sad. Quite a lot actually.
I write stories and memoir. And I sometimes write about sad in my academic sociological writing.
I find reading about other people's experiences of sad especially helpful. 
So thank you.

Being sad can sometimes feel lonely,
Thank goodness then for my good friend memory.

My memories of my dad, Ron, include the fun we had together and his encouragement of me to be anything I wanted to be.
My dad liked to write too and I think of him often when I'm writing. He made up stories to tell me on the way to school. My favourite was about a gnome who lived under a bridge. He was called Tipperty Tapperty Sam and made dolls house furniture for a living.  
Every year my dad would paint faces on our Easter Sunday boiled eggs; another memory making me smile this weekend. 

For a while not being able to have any biological children of my own made me feel so sad I thought I was going mad. But I have been lucky to have had - through working relationships and friendships - a life full of children and young people to make memories with. And, although it might seem strange to others, I believe that my work trying to help others - personally, professionally, politically - is in some part in memory of, in honour of, the children I do not have.  

Unlike you and Eddie I don't like football I'm afraid. My husband John did though, very much, and reading your book I laughed to myself thinking of this. John loved books and always had at least one in his pocket or his backpack. He was funny and clever and kind and although his illness made him very sad at times we never ran out of things to talk about and my memories of him are full of great stories. 

My lovely, lovely mum was called Dorothy. I have so many wonderful memories of her it's too difficult to choose one or two. Although she left school at 14 and worried about her lack of book knowledge she was one of the brightest, shiniest people I have ever met. Her positive approach, to what was not always an easy life, and her good humour was infectious. Her love for me was unconditional. 

I know you love birthdays, all birthdays. I do too.
My mum's birthday was in July and mine is at the beginning of the year. The year my dad died (at the end of January) my mum gave me a present on her birthday. 'Happy unbirthday', she said.
After that we always bought each other gifts every January and July. 
The year after my mum died, a dear friend presented me with a couple of wrapped parcels when I gave her her birthday presents from me. 
Friends can be wonderful when we're sad can't they? 

For me, and I think for you (I hope you don't mind me saying this), memory is a constant companion to sad and my heart feels full of love even when my 'sad space' seems overwhelming. 

I cried when I read your sad story Michael. It made me smile too. Michael Rosen's SAD BOOK is a beautiful book. Thank you again for writing it and thanks to Quentin Blake also.

With love

Gayle Letherby  

PS To any friends who read this letter please read to yourself and to others: Michael Rosen's SAD BOOK (2004 London: Walker Books Ltd)

Friday 14 April 2017

The Pigs Have Flown and Taken all the (Easter) Eggs With Them | A short tale based on unbelievable truths and, apparently, believable lies, with a moral or few to end

Dawn is breaking on Maundy Thursday (the holy day before Easter which commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and the Apostles) as the supermarket delivery van backs into the parking space at the back of 10 Downing Street, London SW1. Alongside the weekend groceries is a bumper pack of variety flavoured crisps and other holiday goodies. Somebody's Easter is going to be sumptuous. The next four days are important ones. After 40 days of abstaining from favourite foods one of the most important Christian holidays of the year – the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ – will be remembered not just (or even) through prayer but also, by many, with hot-cross buns, chocolate eggs delivered by bunnies, egg hunting and rolling (followed by a meal of roasted meat with potatoes and veg). And yet, these well-known Christian activities are, if one cares to look, also variously attributed to Ostera or Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, or to honouring of the resurrection of Tammuz, the god of an ancient Babylonian family 2,000 before Christ.

The current occupant of the residence reserved for the British Prime Minister is, so we are repeatedly told by the press and the person in question, a committed Christian. Although, given the catalogue of government practices and policies, over which she presides, many find this very hard to believe. In case we should forget she reminds us of her 'serious' commitment to her faith by informing us all of her own particular abstinence (see reference to crisps above) and her ‘outrage’ at the blasphemous suggestions of the dropping of the word Easter from any chocolate egg event.

Pete, the supermarket delivery man, is not much interested in politics for in his opinion whichever lot are in 'they're all the bloody same'. He knows of the religious beliefs of the PM only because his girlfriend Cathy told him.

'It's been in the papers, Pete. I read it in my mum's Mail. The other bloke, the one who leads Labour, he doesn’t go to Church. He doesn't believe in anything much and he doesn’t do anything much.  Spends all this time making jam. He’s old too. I saw a picture of him sleeping on a train. He’s obviously past it. About time he gave it all up. Best for everyone, best for us all. It's in all the papers, and on TV.'

Back at the depo for his break Pete flicks through the newspapers in the staff canteen. They are all a few days old and Pete is already aware of all of the sports announcements he reads. With the first delivery of the day in his mind he looks at the early pages of one of the copies from the previous week and reads:

[The Labour Leader] wants to whack 20 per cent VAT onto school fees in lefty throwback’s latest assault on the well-off
The Labour Leader will unveil plans to introduce VAT on school fees and use the cash to provide all primary school kids with free school meals. 

Frowning Pete scans the article stopping at one particularly odd statement; ‘The hapless socialist will claim ‘no child should go hungry at school’’. Quite what is wrong with that Pete can’t work out. Picking up other publications he reads that the opposition have also recently pledged, if they win the next general election, to raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour (£3 more than Pete currently earns) and also to improve the financial lot of the retired in various ways (including guaranteeing a decent annual rise and the Winter Fuel Allowance and free bus passes). Most of the papers seem critical of these policies, and others he has just read about, which is just confusing. Returning to the first rag Pete remembers that his mate Jason, who is a scouser, refuses to even touch, let alone read it; something to do with a slur after Hillsborough. But, if all the reports are so down on the guy and his suggestions it must be so. For after all when did politicians ever care for folk like him and Cathy and their children? Pigs might fly!

His break over Pete thinks of other things as he drives to the first address on his delivery sheet. This extra shift will mean that on the way home he can buy a small chocolate egg for each of the kids. It’s been especially tight this week as Cathy has only picked up a few hours work in the coffee shop. Pete’s additional few hours also means that they can pay the red gas bill and avoid a visit to the local foodbank. So this week they are just about managing. They aren't always so lucky. 

Across town the man Pete has been reading about has spent the morning doing paperwork, speaking to colleagues and tweeting information about party policies and MPs activities. Looking forward to a few hours off he’s planning a trip to the allotment and hoping to avoid any media personal who, if they catch up with him, are bound to comment on his audacity at taking some leisure time and/or on the slogan on his t-shirt or even the vegetables he tends. Going into the kitchen to make his late breakfast the man debates with himself whether to have soft or hard boiled eggs with his toast. He laughs as he imagines the 'interesting' analogy the press could make from that.

·        Never ever believe the first news report that you read or hear from the mainstream media.
·        Always question, always seek alternative accounts.
·        Always consider all possible explanations before you make up your mind.
·        Challenge the stories you know to be false.
·        Promote the ones that enlighten as far and wide as you can.
·        REPEAT. . . .

Monday 3 April 2017

An Open Letter to Iain McNicol, General Secretary of the Labour Party

Dear Mr McNicol

Having voted Labour all of my adult life (I am in my late 50s) I joined the party last summer. Since then I have become an active member in several ways. For example I have canvassed door-to-door, taken part in the January station-based railway campaign and in the ongoing save the NHS campaign. In addition to paying my £5 a month subscriptions I have donated additional monies to the party on several occasions and I have written several pieces for my branch (Truro and Falmouth) Blog. Here is the link to one such piece for your information which I hope you will agree is supportive of current party policies and values:

I know that there are many, many longstanding and newer members who are doing similar and much more.

With this in mind I am increasing distressed by the behaviour of some Labour Party members and MPs, including senior figures, which is, I believe, not only abusive but also bringing the party into serious disrepute. There are many examples here, and I am aware of others that have raised issues and concerns with you over recent months. My focus in this letter is a couple of examples on social media over the last few days. The first involves the trolling on twitter of Richard Burgon MP by fellow Labour MPs Ian Austin and Neil Coyle (and others) which followed Mr Burgon’s tweet (01.04.17) about an encounter with constituents in a supermarket. A series of tweets from Mr Austin (including ‘What nauseating sanctimony from @RichardBurgon …’ and ‘When parliament goes back I’m going to ask saintly @RichardBurgon to run a training course for the rest of us (sic) how to shop in a supermarket’) clearly attempted to ridicule, whereas one from Mr Coyle appeared to be commenting inappropriately on Mr Burgon’s physical appearance (Why does Tesco Seacroft have no pies left?). The second example again involves Neil Coyle  MP who on Friday (31.03.17) responded to a tweet from LBC journalist Iain Dale. Mr Dale wrote ‘I wonder whether this is Jeremy Corbyn’s time? Mr Coyle retweeted this adding: ‘Corbyn’s ‘time’ is c1.42-1.43. To limit the damage he causes’.

I have worked (and studied) in, and for, a number of large institutions (universities and hospitals) for the last 38 years. From this experience and my training and work as a sociologist I am aware of the inevitability, and indeed of the value, of the discussion and debate of differences. Having worked in junior positions and at management levels I have often observed, and sometimes experienced, work based disrespect and bullying. As a manager I have several times been involved in counselling those involved.  And yet I am shocked by the examples given above, which go way beyond internal difference of opinion. The offence such childish and vitriolic attacks likely causes not only those targeted but also those MPs, party members and supporters who are labouring daily to promote the values of the party and its policies should be of serious concern to all of us who work for and support the party. In every organisation I have worked such behaviour, which is not only personally offensive, but additionally inglorious in terms of the reputation of the Labour Party, would not be tolerated. In this instance, such public disloyalty has wider implications in terms of its potential impact in forthcoming, and future local and general elections. Given the clear and obvious rising inequalities and injustices suffered by increasing numbers of individuals as a result of the current Conservative Government; the Government’s incompetent Brexit ‘strategy’; the current and alarming threats to the NHS, social care, the prison service, the education section (from nursery to HE), the benefit system and so on and so forth; that MPs can believe such activity and abuse is acceptable is astonishing. Given the impact such conduct could have long term for many people across the UK, such public displays of disloyalty to the leader of the party, the shadow cabinet and the general aims and values of the party, are inexcusably foolish and immoral.  

With all of this in mind I would be grateful and reassured to hear from you that such activity will no longer be tolerated.

I look forward to your reply

Yours in solidarity

Gayle Letherby 

Saturday 1 April 2017

'Fooling' Around on the 1st of April | Music, Mayhem, Propaganda, Protest

That most, if not all, humans (and other animals) respond emotionally to music and song, is well known, and for those of us with political interests and concerns the lyrics that highlight and remonstrate against inequality and injustice or that rouse and rally to action can be especially powerful. Some of MY personal favourites include:

This Land is Your Land (Pete Seeger, also see and hear Bruce Springfield in this rendition)

Lady, What do you do all day? (Peggy Seeger, with a bit part for Pete) 

Everybody knew, Nobody said (Christie Moore and Declan Sinnott) 

The March of the Women (Shoulder to Shoulder) (sung here by Werca Folk, written by Ethel Smyth)

And especially poignant for me is Dick Gaughan singing World Turned Upside Down (The Diggers Song I choose this as one of the pieces of music to be played at my husband John's funeral in homage to his political commitments. 

If you’ve got some time make a cuppa and have a listen or listen again if you're already familiar with these musical messages. I challenge you not to be moved and inspired by at least some of the tracks.   

Today, in honour of the date (1st of April 2017) I’m posting a few other links for your listening pleasure. Whatever your taste you should find a couple to entertain you, to sing along with. Not protest songs this time, although this piece, like much of my writing at present, is written as part of my protest against current political events and practices. The lyrics are not necessarily relevant but the titles definitely are: 

What Kind of Fool Am I (Sammy Davis) What kind of fools are we if we accept the current situation and do not resist?

Some definitions:
Mayhem: violent or extreme disorder; chaos, disorder, confusion, pandemonium, turmoil, madness, riot (on stage and in society more generally).

'Mayhem': a description of the political style and approach of the British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May 2016-

Just one example from this week: 

Despite Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams MP being granted an emergency 90-minute debate in the House of Commons (HoC) on 29th March regarding a new law on Personal Independence Payment (PIP), affecting 165,000 people, time ran out and there was no vote. The HoC is now on its Easter break which means that the law will reach the 40-day deadline before there is any chance to block it.  As Abrahams and others (including some Conservative MPs) have pointed out this is not only undemocratic but, more importantly, seriously discriminates against people who receive benefits but are unable to leave home without experiencing psychological distress. 

I read the following quote on a Facebook post recently. I’m not sure from where it originates:   

I want my friends to understand that ‘staying out of politics’ or being ‘sick of politics’ is privilege in action. Your privilege allows you to live a non-political existence. Your wealth, your race, your abilities or your gender allows you to live a life in which you likely will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation, or genocide. You don’t want to get political, you don’t want to fight because your life and safety are not at stake.
It is hard and exhausting to bring up issues of oppression (aka ‘get political’). The fighting is tiring. I get it. Self-care is essential. But if you find politics annoying and you just want everyone to be nice please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety. You might not see it, but that’s what privilege does.

This gives me pause for thought for whilst I strongly feel the need to be involved, in various ways, in political activity and agitation, I do appreciate that the time and energy (emotional, physical, intellectual as well as financial) resources that this necessitates are not available to all, much of the time. Political engagement can also put the individual at risk in various ways. Given this, plus the critique of supporters of the current Labour leadership team as nothing less than a Chain of Fools (Aretha Franklin) (along with a plethora of other insults), I am encouraged by the many accounts suggesting that more and more people across all age groups are becoming interested in left leaning politics and political issues; in campaigning and protesting, in self-education and debate.  

Speaking of education and debate… I have no wish to insult anyone but I can’t not include the Dobbie Brothers singing What a Fool Believes in my Saturday morning jukebox selection. For every day, with tedious regularity, I see references to individuals who believe:

THAT Brexit will give us ‘our country back’ – DESPITE, no one being able to explain what getting ‘our country back’ actually means.

THAT the crisis in the NHS is the result of refugees, immigrants and so called health tourism – DESPITE, a) the significant number of immigrants who are working above and beyond the call of duty to lessen the strain on the services and the resultant stress for patients and b) the tiny, tiny percentage of NHS resources spent on ‘health tourism’.

THAT said crisis will be eased by the £350 million a week that the NHS was promised by Leave campaigners in the EU Referendum – DESPITE, Cabinet Minister Chris Grayling MP now saying that the now infamous slogan was merely an ‘aspiration’.

THAT those receiving disability benefit, rather than those on obscenely high incomes not paying their taxes, are a drain on the pockets of the tax payer - ESPECIALLY IRONIC, given that it was the three members of the pop group Take That, themselves notorious for tax avoidance, who were recently asking us to donate to this year's Comic Relief fundraising efforts. The trio joined James Corden for a special version of his Carpool Karaoke, an act that was less altruistic than appearances indicate as an accompanying appearance on Corden's Late, Late Show and a walkabout which included handing out CDs to strangers and an in-store gig was in part to help them to 'break America'. 

So, despite, all of the evidence to the contrary, why do so many believe what they see and hear in the mainstream media (MSM)? One obvious, it seems to me, reason, is the production and repetition of ‘facts’ that are anything but. Is it the case then that, along with Elvis, Only Fools Rush In to print and reprint, tweet and retweet unsubstantiated and untrue reports, messages, materials? The answer of course is NO it isn’t. There are many, many examples here… As a starter for ten read this detailed report from SKWAWKBOX who covers several MYTHS (that the Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn MP did not challenge the Government on issues to do with Brexit on the day that Article 50 was triggered; that Corbyn failed to declare part of his income in last year’s tax return; and that the Labour leadership team are slow to respond to requests from the media for quotes) This piece also demonstrates both the speed and the prevalence of the spreading of such untruths.

For another example of a critique of the MSM watch the political comedian Jonathon Pie comment on the lack of impartiality of the BBC and other news outlets There are many other ruder pieces (with even more swear words) by Pie if you care to find them.

Given this sort of alternative material and other similar publications and presentations could it be that we Won’t Get Fooled Again? (The Who) Depressingly, given the relentless, constant propaganda the struggle continues as does the need to CHALLENGE and to SHARE. With this in mind here's another clip to watch in which the lawyer Peter Stefanovic debunks the myth that it is Labour, and not the Tories, who are fast and loose when it comes to borrowing

Clearly you (and I) would be a Fool if You Think it’s Over (Chris Rea) not least because far too many people still seem to believe that it (as in everything) is Jeremy Corbyn’s fault. Despite that fact that the government has made 30th U-turns since Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party (see @LabourEoin for more on this). And despite the 15 (at least) times he was on the ‘right side of history’ (read this for the detail and/or go to and watch #EL4JC’s pinned video).


You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. 
Abraham Lincoln

I have written previously about my distress at some of the political behaviours and choices over the last year or so (see for example: AND other later pieces on this Blog). And although some might call me a Fool to Cry (Rolling Stones) my unhappiness has led to me getting more politically involved and more active in my writings, in my conversations and in my involvement in activities such as this: my advice to anyone who feels similar feelings of distress and powerlessness  – do something, anything, a small thing, a bigger one. You might feel better for it.

If you’ve stuck with me and got to the end of this long (given all the listening, reading and viewing along the way) piece THANK YOU.

Your reward?

A couple of pieces of music to finish. Can you guess what they are?